I do have to admit that this is an animation that does stand as different to many others out there. It is about cavemen, and before the world came as we knew it. It’s about change and the discovery of new things. It’s also about the ability to not be afraid, to be fearless and chase the light. If you hadn’t guessed… of course it’s moralistic! But it’s a great kids film, a fun family film in fact.
Meet the Croods! First of all, the father, Grug (Nicholas Cage). He lives a life of rules to stay safe. Rules such as “never not be afraid”, “fears keep us alive” and “new is always bad”. He paints a life (literally on the walls of the cave) to his family of the world as a place to die, they must not leave the cave, only to get food and go straight back. But when his cave is broken, they all must venture out into the world. Grug is the one stuck in his ways, finding it difficult to explore and desperate to keep his family safe the only way he knows, in a cave. To say the least, he is overprotective, but he becomes a character that is heart-warming and he only does everything he does to keep his beloved family safe and sound. His wife, Ugga (Catherine Keener), she understands the troubles of the world, she understands the rules, she also just wants to keep her family safe. But she’s the more understanding of the needs to change. Ugga is a loving mum, but she’s not so much of a main character, there’s definitely more focus on the others. Thirdly, the Gran (Cloris Leachman). Her comical lines stems from “I’m still alive”, which ultimately brings a downer on Grug, which does come across as comical of course, not in a morbid way! Forth, is one of the main Croods. Voiced by Emma Stone, is Eep. The curious daughter, the girl who wants to explore the world and discover more out of the cave. She’s the one who abandons her father’s rules and leave the cave at night. Her curiosity taking her to discover what fire is, and ultimately meeting another person, someone named Guy. Guy (voiced by the brilliant Ryan Reynolds – actor and animation equally as beautiful), brings in a new world for the Croods. He uses what he calls his brain to create ideas and make solutions out of problems – such as the need for shoes, in which Eep hilariously falls in love with them. He also has a pet, an adorable, brilliant sloth named Belt (also holds his trousers up). The cavemen seem as animals and Guy is portrayed more modern, more relatable for the audience. But the contrast is clever and comical, especially as the Croods are learning or creating things we already know so well. Back to the Croods, there are more. The son, the most hilarious character in the film personally. Thunk (Clark Duke). The young son is loyal to his father, stupid to the point he panics he hasn’t got a brain, he’s clumsy and petrified of everything, his comical one-liners are brilliant and truly stand out as hilarious. Finally, Sandy. The toddler. She’s definitely more animal than child, I think that’s the best way to explain her. She always needs to be chewing something angrily, and she runs aggressively around on her hands and feet. So there, a small introduction to the Croods.
‘The Croods’ is a film of a family’s new adventure, the discovery of new things while they are running from danger of what they call “the end”. The film brings creatures of all sorts, mixtures of different animals we know now – such as the crocodile looking dog, Douglas, or even the flying turtles. It’s a land of colours and brilliant new creatures to discover, it’s a great children’s film to fall into. The world is changing, the film shows the adaptions the cavemen have to make in order to survive – perhaps the evolution of the world, the movement of the tectonic plates, of earthquakes for example, I’m not sure whether this is actually what is happening, but it does seem to come across that way. Anyway, the moral is that they have to move and change along with the world.
This kids’ animation film is fun and different. Thunk is hilarious, as are others, especially Grug’s sudden decision to use his brain and come up with his own ideas, including a “snapshot” and a “ride” (on a rock). I would encourage anyone to watch it if they haven’t already. Fall into this family’s old traditions as they are forced to adapt to their surroundings, especially when their surroundings are falling apart. Fall in love with the characters, as different as they are to many others. Discover the new and follow the light.